A highly enjoyable flick. Not quite as tight as the first one was, but it definitely didn’t jump the shark. The two-villains thing works fine when one villain is paying the other, rather than a cheesy team-up. And the Black Widow wasn’t so much a love interest as an extra special effect that flirted with Tony Stark and did some secret-agent ass-kicking. So most of my fears proved to be unfounded.
Of films of the man-pain genre, it’s one of the better ones. The fact that Tony Stark is dying from the start of the movie gives him a deeper reason for his man-pain and makes some of his more extreme acting-out seem a bit more reasonable. There’s just a touch of the Demon in a Bottle story from the comic, and the scene where Tony gets drunk in the Iron Man suit is well-executed and quite appropriately uncomfortable. And it was fun having Rhody in the suit as well as Tony. More than anything else, the movie proves that Robert Downey Jr was born to play Tony Stark. And Gwyneth Paltrow rocks as Pepper, who’s so much more interesting than the standard damsel in distress.
All in all, a fun movie. And the fanboy in me can’t help but get excited about the upcoming Avengers movie….